Raelene Purvis was lying beside the family pool when her mobile rattled with a ring tone that made passing reference to ‘Candy Shop’. Raelene took the call. It was Mrs Clutch, the Lushers School Principal, who firmly asked Mrs Purvis meet with her at the school, “At your convenience of course,” the Principal said, but clearly this was not the case for she added, “It is matter of some urgency.”
“I could drop in this afternoon if you like Principal,” Raelene replied sweetly, “I have to go and get my hair done.”
Raelene, her blond hair in its usual bouffant style, entered the Principal’s office about an hour later. Mrs Clutch looked up from papers on her desk, “As always, your hair looks wonderful Mrs Purvis, you must tell me who does it for you.”
A flustered Raelene stumbled to explain that she was on her way to the hair dresser, not returning, and hadn’t her hair done yet. Nevertheless, she was flattered by the compliment and soon regained her composure. “I’ve been going to Ramon de la Roche for years,” she proudly announced.
Mrs Clutch skated over her mistake with supreme confidence and went on the offensive, “Now, about the Purvis Equestrian Centre?”
“Is there a problem?” Raelene answered, still standing, unsure whether or not to sit, and if so, in which chair.
“I am sorry Mrs Purvis, do sit down,” Mrs Clutch said more by way of a demand than apology, indicating to a hard, high-back chair. “We should have received the latest payment for the Equestrian Centre yesterday, but it doesn’t seem to have come through.”
“Are you sure Principal? There must be a mistake.”
“Yes, I’m sure there has been a mistake,” Mrs Clutch said with gentle forcefulness. “But I spoke to our bank personally and they confirmed the money hasn’t been transferred to the account. We do have to meet the regular construction payments for your equestrian centre. I hope you understand?”
“Of course, I’m very sorry Principal. I don’t know what could have gone wrong,” Raelene replied with considerable embarrassment and agreed to write out a personal cheque to cover the cost of the last payment and the next one.
“Just in case it takes a little time to sort out this small problem with the accounts,” was how Mrs Clutch put it.
At Purvis Holdings, Ray Purvis carefully re-read the letter from Kaytee Corporation of Japan and smiled. Arriving out of the blue, the letter was like a gift from heaven, a reprieve on death-row. It had the potential to turn disaster into success, but Ray’s repose came to an abrupt end as his assistant, Ralph Fly, entered the office.
“What have you got there Fly?” Purvis asked, pointing to a document Fly was holding.
“It’s from the bank, just arrived by courier,” Fly replied. “They’ve frozen all our accounts.”
“Christ!” Purvis snatched the document out of Fly’s hand and quickly scanned it. “Regal Mortgage and now this! How can anybody be expected to do business in this country?”
“Do you want me to contact them?” Fly asked.
“No I’ll do it. Here,” Purvis said picking up the letter from his desk and passing it to Fly. “What do you know about the Kaytee Corporation of Japan?”
“Not much,” Ralph Fly was worried and quickly read the letter. “They’re one of the biggest fishing companies over there. Got fleets in most of the world’s oceans.”
“Fishing? Not shopping centres?”
“Don’t think so,” Ralph replied, “Maybe food distribution.”
“See what you can find out,” Purvis said with excitement born from the scent of a deal. “They are interested in buying into the shopping centre project and that’s all that matters. This guy Oshi wants a meeting next week.”
“Sounds like they want to get a foothold in Australia,” Fly said hopefully, “Could be good for us, Mr Purvis.”
“Good? It’s a bloody miracle! I don’t care if they want to turn the place into the biggest sushi bar in the world, we’ll talk to them.”
But, Ralph Fly did care. “They probably know about our problems with Regal Mortgage,” he said cautiously.
“Maybe, maybe not,” Purvis exclaimed, clapping his hands together in glee. “Our Mr Oshi won’t speak a word of English, none of them do. But that could be good for us: our country, our language, our rules!”
NOTE: Currently on holidays in Europe updating the story from internet cafes etc on my travels. We are now staying at Casa Rovai, a great guest house in Florence that I can highly recommend. Sorry if the next couple of episodes are a little erratic. Not exactly sure what the next episode will be, but there will be one as we are getting near to the end of our saga of greed and magic.